Showing posts from May, 2009

Left Brain Grocery List

I just saw a link to a story called “Left Brain Grocery List,” and I sat here and laughed out loud while I’ve listened. It reminds me so much of the stories I have heard living here in the South.The woman who’s speaking is named Jeanne Robertson.
Just click here to listen.

Hummingbird Cake

1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped3 cups all-purpose flour2 cups granulated white sugar1 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon ground cinnamon3 large eggs, lightly beaten3/4 cup canola oil1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract1 - 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, do not drain2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3-4 medium sized bananas)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the rack in the center of the oven. Butter or spray two - 9 x 2 inch round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper.Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop finely. Set aside.In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.In another large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, pineapple, mashed bananas, and finely chopped pecans. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Evenl…

How To Build Your Own Outdoor Movie Theater

Lights … Cameras … Insect Repellent? How To Build Your Own Outdoor Movie TheaterStep by step tutorial. He says it cost him less than $250.

Paper Crafts Saturday: Freebie Printables from Tip Nut

Free Printable Thank You Card From blue finch studios

Introducing Blue Finch Studio's first YOUprint card. YOUprint is interchangeable with the term "printables". A printable is a PDF file that you print at home on paper, card stock or a sticker sheet to make what YOU want, when YOU want.

Please enjoy this note card free as our personal thank you. Begin by clicking the following link:
free owl note card.

Let the Summer Grilling Begin!

Check out Mary Hunt's awesome grilling recipes, including a recipe for hamburger buns!

Click here to see them.

Strawberry Cupcakes

1-1/4 cups sliced strawberries10 ounce all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 cups)2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder1/8 teaspoon salt1-1/2 cups granulated sugar1/2 cup butter, softened2 large eggs2 large egg whites1 cup low-fat buttermilk1/4 teaspoon red food coloringCooking spray
1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese1/3 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons orange juice3 cups powdered sugar12 whole strawberries (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°.To prepare cake, place sliced strawberries in a food processor; process until smooth.Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Place granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in egg whites. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add pureed straw…

55 Ways to Get More Energy

If you’re tired all the time, a change in what you eat (diet) or what you do all day (activity pattern) may be all you need to turn things around 180°.You won’t be able to do everything on this list all the time — you’d tire yourself out trying to get more energy — but do try them all to see which ones work for you and your schedule. Add a few of these tips to your regular routine. Or mix them up to keep things interesting.
For the rest of the article, Click Here!

Summer Fruit Salad

I don't remember where I found this recipe, but it's so simple, it will be in my refrigerator this summer! It is best when the fruit is in season and I tend to like it better with fresh strawberries. But I have made this with any fruit at the store. This time I used strawberries, grapes, and bananas. You could add peaches, apples, mangoes. I really only like to put in 3-4 different kinds of fruits, if there are more, it changes the look and flavor.Then this is the tricky part, get out your pen to write all this down. Get 1-2 yogurt cups and pour them in. Really that’s it. I like to use strawberry flavored yogurt, Yoplait’s fat free brand is great. Then mix it all together. Sometimes I put more yogurt to make it creamier and sometimes I like to just use enough that it covers the fruit. If you are like me and you cannot think of dirtying one more dish, I make and mix the fruit salad in the bowl I am going to serve it in. But it tends to get the sides all messy when mixe…

Faithful Fashionista "Dream Bird" Necklace Giveaway

Favorite Things Giveaway offers up a feminine, romantic, lovingly hand-crafted "Dream Bird" necklace from Lindsay at Bella Cene'!

Favorite Things Giveaway Event--The Faithful Fashionista

Day 6 of the Favorite Things Giveaway Event keeps the modest clothing coming thanks to Mia Bellina!
Mia Bellina offers lovely tops and brilliant basics to make sure your wardrobe is modest and stylin'!

Their line of "Sonatas" is the perfect solution to put under tops that are just too low to wear without a cami, but they stop right under the bust so they don't add bulk to your midsection! These items would be perfect for under dresses to avoid the "ride-up" that I'm sure you've all experienced with traditional camis.

Check out the full details at The Faithful Fashionista.

Save Cash by Feeding the Kids for Free

Many a parent has ordered something off the kids' menu just to see their picky eater barely touch it. Why make dining out any pricier it already is? Go where the kids eat free!

read the rest of the article here.

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"Save Money and the Environment"

Budget Produce Tips

Do your own prep work.“People pay more for prewashed greens and mini peeled carrots,” says Jim Iovine, owner of Iovine's Produce at Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market. The additional processing―rinsing leafy greens to remove dirt or whittling regular carrots down to “baby” size―adds to the items’ expense. You can also save by skipping precut vegetables and chopping your own.

Choose items with the lowest costs per serving.The USDA tracks average costs of fresh, frozen, and canned produce. Melons, peaches, bananas, and papayas are among the least expensive fresh fruits per serving. Fresh vegetables with a low cost per serving include potatoes, radishes, Romaine lettuce, mustard greens, and broccoli.

Choose items with the lowest costs per serving.The USDA tracks average costs of fresh, frozen, and canned produce. Melons, peaches, bananas, and papayas are among the least expensive fresh fruits per serving. Fresh vegetables with a low cost per serving include potatoes, radishes, …

How to Move in 6 Weeks or 6 Days, and Keep Your Sanity

Most people’s feelings after moving are “I hope we live here for a long time. I don’t want to move again.” I’ve been through chaotic, last-minute moves, a few crazy DIY moves, and some that weren’t so bad. When we moved to a new apartment recently, it was our best move yet. We even had our entire apartment unpacked just two days later.Moving can be really difficult, but there are a few things you can do to make it easier.Check out the full article at Small Notebook.

A Give Away @ Faithful Fashionista

Check out the Faithful Fashionista.
She is having a giveaway for a $25 GC to Layers

Life as Mom: Cute Cakes and Coupons

100 Terrific Productivity Tools for the Bored or Unemployed

5 Reasons Not to Save Stuff for Later

Southern Style Strawberry Cake

Southern Style Strawberry Cake1 (18.5 ounce) box white cake mix (without pudding)1 (3 ounce) package strawberry jello1 Tablespoon self rising flour4 teaspoons granulated sugar3/4 cup vegetable oil4 eggs1/2 cup water1/3 cup fresh strawberries, finely diced.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine cake mix, Jello, flour and sugar in a large bowl. Mix well.
Add the oil.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition
Add the water and strawberries and mix well.
Divide the batter evenly into three 8-inch round baking pans that have been oiled and floured.
Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean and the layers pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer the layers from the oven to wire racks. Let them cool, still in their pans, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, run a knife around the inside edge of each pan, then unmold each layer onto the racks to cool completely.Cream Cheese Frosting1 (8 ounce) block cream c…

Grocery Stewardship

In this thought-provoking post over at Faith and Family Live, Danielle asks “How much do you spend on groceries?” After adding my own thoughts and comparing my spending to that of other families, it hit me.Check out this post over at The Finer things in Life.

15 Ways to Eat More Local Food

From Tip Hero

I have heard a lot about the economical and environmental arguments for eating locally. But sometimes find it a bit overwhelming. This guide made it more 'digestible' and fun for me (pun intended): 15 Ways to Eat More Local Food

Something Down The Drain? Retrieve it Without a Wrench.

From Family Hack. . .an awesome site!

An amazing trick!
Our 1-minute video shows you how to easily retrieve anything that went down the drain…without a pipe wrench or a plumber.

Keep Your House Spring Clean Fresh All Summer Long

Spring Cleaning MaintenanceAfter all of your hard work spring cleaning and organizing your home, you certainly won’t want to see things back to the way they were in a matter of weeks. Staying organized takes a little work and is certainly a learned habit, but for this small amount of daily effort, you will have a cleaner home and a happier family. Try some of these tips to help keep your home looking like you just wrapped up your spring cleaning efforts.via Happy to be @ Home

14 Fun Summer Activities For Frugal Kids

Check out this article over at Frugal Dad. . .

“I’m bored!” It’s the two words every parents dread as school lets out for summer. Fear not; I’ve put together two weeks worth of fun summer activities to keep kids busy, and parents sane.The list of summer activities ranges in cost from free to frugal, but each requires extra quality time with kids - something we can all afford to spend more on!

Downloadable FREE Cookbooks!

Thanks to Nicole's Nickels for the linky love to FREE (yes, you heard correctly!) FREE Cookbooks!

Two weeks of Dinner Plans, courtesy of Kraft & Sam's Club

The two-week dinner plan contains quick, delicious recipes your family will love. With great savings and an incredible selection, Sam's Club is ideal for all your grocery shopping needs! Save extra time with Click 'N Pull to have the ingredients waiting for you on your next visit.

Click here for more details!

Get Ideas for Summertime Fun

Fun Fun Fun! Get Ideas for Summertime Fun with inexpensive ways to entertain your preschoolers this summer.Click here for more.

A Give Away @ Nicole's Nickels

Nichole is giving away a Keurig Platinum Brewer. Check it out Nicole's post here.

Awesome giveaway Nicole!

Angel Food June Menu

Click here for our local Angel Food Menu. The cutoff date is Saturday, June 13 and pick up is Saturday, June 20.

For more information about Angel Food Ministries in our area, please contact:
Whitley Church Office
at (919) 735-5411
Angel Food Ministries Directors @ Whitley Church--Joey and Karen Statler at: (919) 689-3509 Angel Food Ministries
Frequently Asked Questions
History of Angel Food

Triangle Mom2Mom

If you happen to live in the Raleigh, NC area, there is a pretty cool resource located here.
Simply put, it is a pretty exhaustive calendar of family-type stuff to do in the area.

And then, after you have looked at the Triangle Mom2Mom calendar, check out Play. It is a listing of fun things to do in the Triangle.

Nice resources for Triangle folks. . .

Glazed Carrots

Glazed Carrots Prep time: 3 minutes
Total time: 7 minutes
Makes 4 servings. Ingredients2 large carrots1 teaspoon butter1 teaspoon brown sugar1/2 teaspoon cinnamonMethodClean and peel the carrots. Cut length-wise, then cut into half-moons about 1/4 inch wide.Put carrots into a microwave-safe bowl and cover. Microwave on medium-high heat for 2 minutes and stir to coat the carrots with the spices and now-melted butter. Replace cover and microwave on medium-high for another minute or so, until the carrots are tender. Stir and serve. Tips and notesThe mid-cooking stir in step two is optional but nice. If you have the oven on anyway, put all the ingredients in an oven-safe container, cover, and bake for about 20 minutes until the carrots are tender. Any temperature from 325 to 450 will be fine, with the carrots cooking a little slower or a little faster depending on the heat.

Cooking Dried Beans

Here's a quick tutorial for cooking dried beans. They are a frugal meal option that is really healthy.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total time: 2 to 4 hours, with optional soaking time of 6 to 10 hours
Servings: 20 servings, 1/2 cup each Ingredients2 pounds dried beans1 tablespoon salt 12 cups waterMethodClean the beans. Clean the beans by putting about a cup of them on one side of a light-colored plate and pushing them a few at a time towards you. Pick out anything that is not a bean, such as small stones or stems. Also pick out any beans that look much smaller and more wrinkled than the rest. (These mummy beans tend to stay hard no matter how long you cook them.) After you’ve worked a batch of beans over to the other side of the plate, dump them into a colander and pick over another batch until you’ve checked them all. Rinse the beans well under running water.Soak beans if you want, an option that saves energy and may reduce side effects. The FDA recommends always soaking kidney beans for…

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

I found this recipe on Cooking for Good. It sounded great, so I thought I'd post it!

Active time: about 35 minutes.
Total time: about an hour.
Makes twelve servings.


Hot-Milk Cake
1 tablespoon butter½ cup milkshortening or butter and flour for greasing and flouring the pan2 large eggs1 cup sugar (200 grams)1 cup all-purpose flour or white whole-wheat flour (120 grams)1/8 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon baking powder
2 pounds of fresh strawberries (a little less than 3 pints)about 1/2 cup sugar (depending on how sweet the strawberries are) (100 or so grams)1 cup whipping cream (8 ounces or 1/2 pint)1 tablespoon of sugar1/2 teaspoon of vanilla (optional)Method

1. Cake. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat milk until it begins to steam, then add butter to hot milk. Butter will melt. (I microwave milk in a Pyrex measuring cup for about a minute and a half.) Grease and flour an 8” square pan or a muffin tin that holds a dozen muffins.

2. Use an electric mixer to beat the eggs on medium…

28 Uses for Everyday Items

28 Uses for Everyday Items
From Real Simple online, by Sharon Tanenbaum and Ashley Tate.
The hidden talents (both new and tried-and-true) of kitchen and bathroom staples.

Have you heard about "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day?"

Mary Hunt's email blast today was about this book. Being the tightwad that I am and not wanting to spend $20 on a book about bread, I googled artisan bread in five minutes basic recipe which turned up this link: Simple Crusty Bread from the NY Times. It even gives the baking and storage directions.

Then go here to see the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes website to see if you want to order the book.

Mary Hunt's original post can be found here.

I am going to try the bread after we eat the Homemade Wheat Bread that is rising in the Bread Maker right now.

Let me know what you think!

Mexican Lasagna

Ingredients2 t. vegetable oil1 1/2 c. chopped onion1 lb. ground beef1 package taco seasoning
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with chiles (Ro-Tel style)
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed1 can (11 oz) corn (whole kernel), drained1 can (10 oz) mild enchilada sauce5-(8 inch) flour tortillas1 1/4 c. shredded cheddar
Directions Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 3 quart round baking dish with nonstick spray. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and saute 5 minutes. Add ground beef and taco seasoning and heat until no longer pink. Add tomatoes, beans, corn and enchilada sauce; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Put 1 tortilla in baking dish. Top with 1/5 of meat mixture (about 1 1/2 cups); sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat layers 4 more times. Cover with foil and bake 20 to 25 minutes until bubbly around edges and cheese is melted. Cool 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream, if desired.

Beef Fajita Quesadilla Wedges

Beef Fajita Quesadilla Wedges
Ingredients:1 (16-ounce) bag frozen pepper stir-fry blend (green, red and yellow peppers and onions) 1 cup plain yogurt 1 cup salsa 1 tablespoon butter, softened 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas 16 ounces, beef fajita strips, prepared 1 ½ cups mild cheddar cheese, shreddedDirections:Prepare the stir-fry pepper blend according to package directions.
Mix yogurt and salsa. Set aside.Spread butter evenly on one side of each tortilla and layer cooked peppers and onions, fajita strips and cheese evenly on unbuttered side of four tortillas and cover with remaining tortillas, butter side up.
Grill each quesadilla in large skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes on each side or until golden and cheese melts. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa dipping sauce.Makes 8 servings.

Grocery Bag Holder

How many of us have umpteen thousand WM or Target bags under the kitchen sink? This is a cute and simple sewing project that uses scraps.

Click here or on the photo to go to Make It and Love It.

Warm Apple Cake & Caramel Sauce

Warm Apple Cake & Caramel Sauce

1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1 egg, beaten
2 c. apples, cored, peeled and shredded
1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Mix together egg and apples; add to flour mixture. Stir in walnuts. Spread in a lightly greased 8"x8" baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Serve warm, drizzled with Caramel Sauce. Makes 9 servings.

Caramel Sauce:
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 T. all-purpose flour
1/8 t. salt
1 c. water
1 T. butter
1/4 t. vanilla extract

Combine brown sugar, flour and salt in a small saucepan. Gradually add water; stir until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook for one to 2 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla.

Have you seen KraftFoods new Budget Wise area?

Budget Wise

It includes videos, budget desserts, lunches, healthy living, message boards, and a whole lot more. Right now, if you are a member (it's free), you can print up to $50 in coupons for Kraft Products.

WFMW: Homemade Wheat Bread

Looking for a tasty alternative in wheat bread? Look no further that this link. As you will see, I am not a wheat bread girl, but this recipe changed my mind. One of our goals for this year is to choose a healthier lifestyle for the family . . . it works for us!


WFMW: Tasty Wheat Bread in the Bread Machine


Homemade Wheat Bread

I must admit that I am not a wheat bread girl. I love the non-nutritional "white stuff" and was very thankful to find a certain bread (whose initials are WW) that offers at least some healthy ingredients. Then I found this recipe. It is a great whole wheat alternative. This recipe produces a very soft and tasty product that I know you will enjoy.

Homemade Wheat Bread

Yield: 1 good size loaf

1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)1 tablespoon milk2 tablespoons oil2 tablespoons honey (or molasses)2 tablespoons brown sugar1 teaspoon salt1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour2 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
Put everything in the machine in the order listed and use the dough setting. After it beeps (1:40 for mine) I put it in a bread pan and let it rise for 30 min then bake it for 30-35 min in a 350 degree oven.

Menu for Week of May 11-17

Monday (11): Breaded Chicken Breast (Angelfood), Rice, Sauteed Green Beans, Butter Beans, White Gravy, Wheat BreadTuesday (12): Baked Spaghetti, Salad, Wheat BreadWednesday (13): Bacon Cheeseburgers, Baked French Fries, Fresh FruitThursday (14): Cheesy Chicken (Slow Cooker), Broccoli Rice & CheeseFriday (15): Homemade Pizza, Fresh FruitSaturday (16): Lunch-Leftovers; Supper-Marinated Steaks, Ranch Potato Wedges, Salad, RollsSunday (17):Lunch-Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken, Rice, Chips & Salsa; Supper-Eat out with the kids on the way home from church

Strawberry Cream Freeze--from

Strawberry Cream Freeze
What You Need! 1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened 1 cup cold milk 1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding 1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping 20 NILLA Wafers, coarsely broken 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries 1/2 cup strawberry ice cream topping Make It! MAKE THE FILLING:BEAT cream cheese in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in milk. Add dry pudding mix; beat 2 min. Stir in COOL WHIP, wafers and berries. Swirl in ice cream topping. SERVE IT YOUR WAY!PIE: Spread filling into 6-oz. OREO Pie Crust. Freeze 6 hours or until firm. Garnish with additional berries, if desired. Makes 8 servings.I made the pie and it was delicious. A word of warning though, don't take this directly from the freezer and expect to eat it immediately. . .it is very so…

Simplifying Menu Planning

Simplifying Menu Planning - Passionate Homemaking

Benefits include:- Less trips to the store -saving gas and time (which is especially important during this time in our economy)!
- Less time in preparing weekly menus

Sneaky Chef Flu Fighters

Sneaky Chef Flu Fighter

Makes 4 servings

1 large orange, peeled
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
Juice from one fresh lemon
2 cups pomegranate or cranberry juice
4 tablespoons honey
Handful of ice

Put all ingredients in a blender on high until smooth. Serve in a tall glass with a straw.

The Sneaky Chef Immune-Booster Sorbet Makes 2 servings1 ½ cups frozen strawberries, blueberries, or cherries (without syrup or added sweeteners)1/2 cup store-bought pomegranate and/or blueberry juice1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice2 teaspoons sugar or honey, optionalPut all ingredients in a food processor and puree on high. Hold on tight, the first few seconds are a bit rough until the mixture smoothes out.

Free Printables: Menu Plan & Shopping List from Small Notebook

Free Printables: Menu Plan & Shopping List
If you like the idea combining your menu plan and grocery shopping list in one, but you don’t want to create a spreadsheet, here’s a simple blank one you can print.

Free Printables: Menu Plan & Shopping List

If you like the idea of combining your menu plan and grocery shopping list in one, but you don’t want to create a spreadsheet, here’s a simple blank one you can print.

Great site at Small Notebook for a Simple Home. . .check it out!

DIY Cardboard Laptop Stand

Egg Substitute Recipes

found on
Egg Substitute Recipes (Each replaces one egg)*It’s recommended not to replace more than 2 eggs per recipe.1 tsp baking powder + 1 1/2 TBS water + 1 1/2 TBS oil 1 tsp baking powder + 1 TBS water + 1 TBS vinegar 2 TBS water or milk + 2 TBS flour + 1/2 TBS shortening + 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 TBS vinegar + 1 tsp baking soda 2 TBS lemon juice + 1 tsp baking soda 1 TBS cornstarch + 3 TBS water for each missing egg 2 TBS arrowroot flour 2 TBS potato starch 1 TBS tapioca starch + 1/4 cup warm water (mix well & allow to gel a bit before using) 1 tsp yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water 1/2 banana, mashed (medium size) + 1/4 tsp baking powder 2 TBS applesauce 3 TBS mayonnaiseFlax Seed Egg Replacer
*Replacer for 1 egg1 TBS flax seed (ground)
3 TBS waterMethod #1: Simmer together on top of stove for about 5 minutes until the consistency reaches a thick, egg-white like consistency. Method #2: Blend ingredients together in a blender or food processor until the mixture …

Crockpot Macaroni & Cheese

The Ingredients.

1/2 pound uncooked macaroni or hearty pasta 4 cups of milk 1 egg4 cups shredded cheese1/2 t kosher salt1/2 t black pepper1 tsp dried mustard
The Directions.

Spray crock well with cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, whip egg and milk together. Stir in spices.Add cheese and noodles, and stir well to combine. Pour the mixture into the crock pot. It will be very liquidy.Cover and cook on low for 2-5 hours, or on high for 1-3. After the first hour, stir well. Then stir every half hour or so until it is the consistency you like. Remember that it will continue to cook for a while after you turn it off, because the Crock Pot bowl holds heat really well. The cooking time will vary depending on what size crock pot you are using, and how quickly it heats and cooks.